Data Analytics: From Data to Insights

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Data Analytics: From Data to Insights

Data Analytics: From Data to Insights

John Wanamaker (or Lord Leverhulme, depending on which side of the pond you are on) famously said that 50% of marketing spend is wasted, the trouble is, we just don't know which 50%. Much has changed over the century since, both to positive and negative effect. Today marketers have a vast range of tools and channels, but companies are also under increasing competitive pressure to reach the right people, in the right places, at the right times.

Data analytics is one of the fastest-growing fields in digital marketing. A mere four years ago, the 2018 CMO survey findings showed that having the right data was far from the front of the minds of most marketers. Yet just three years later, the 2021 CMO survey found that marketers considered data collection and usage the most vital ingredient for their company’s future growth.

And they’re not wrong. A 2022 study showed that a cohesive data-driven strategy makes marketers 538% more likely to see success. In other words, you can’t afford not to use analytics to inform marketing decisions, and the sooner you start, the brighter the future will be.

How can businesses use data analytics to get better results?

In essence, data analytics is spotting patterns, resulting in a set of reports that turn those patterns into recommendations or actionable insights. Armed with analytics, a business can fully exploit their customers patterns and trends, upping their reach, performance and conversion rate. Analytics allow you to leverage big data – that is, to understand and utilise massive collections of information from numerous sources.

Data analysis can be employed to optimise ads by, for instance, adding more specific keywords based on the level of competition or number of monthly searches for your product. And paying attention to where you don’t want to show up is important too. If you know who and how to target, you can adjust your targeting parameters and maximise your ROI – in terms of both time and money.

To demonstrate just how powerful analytics can be, let’s take a moment to talk about the ubiquitous Google Ads and how powerfully data analytics can impact its effectiveness.

Google Ads optimisation is essential, but you can’t optimise if you don’t know what gives you the best ROI. Data analytics insights are central to your ability to tweak your digital presence to factor in, for example, performance history, campaign settings and current or future trends.

Google Ads’ bidding system is much more powerful when driven by data insights, and marketers who take time to get the settings right will maximise their ROI. Once calibrated, automated bidding can push forward a brand in the right scenarios, to maximise conversions and make the most of the ad budget. If you know that the majority of conversions come from customers on mobile phones, you can set higher bids for searches for your keywords from mobile devices.

Google Ads optimisation also improves your ad’s Quality Score – that’s the relevance of your ad to someone searching for one of your keywords. Your Quality Score is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and is then multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process.

Data analytics can also inform you about where you’re wasting money and help you avoid future losses. For instance, if you own Apple Tree Nursery, a childcare facility in London, you won’t profit from someone from Edinburgh landing on your page when they’re looking for a plant nursery that sells apple trees. Google can ensure that your ads sidestep these irrelevant users, freeing up more of your ad budget for the right ones.

The challenges of digital marketing analytics

We are facing a quantity problem, in that the data we have at hand today will only grow exponentially. Whilst it is a vital raw ingredient, data alone won’t benefit a business if it isn’t being turned into actionable insights and then results. And we know that the right tools in the wrong hands can be of little use - the data needs to be gathered and analysed by experts for optimum results.

Too much data but too little information means you risk not drawing meaningful conclusions about who your customers are and when and how they engage. You need a way of turning data into a data-informed marketing strategy.

Another pitfall is being too close to the situation to see how it can be improved. If you carry out the analysis yourself, the results can be biassed. Having a neutral, independent expert – with an all-important fresh pair of eyes – can provide objective insights.

So it’s easy to see why so many marketers engage with an expert to optimise their efforts and investments in marketing. A 2020 Gartner study revealed that nearly 50% of marketers admit that they lack the tools, people or skills to use marketing analytics to its full potential. 

The risk of not addressing this shortfall is that it can appear as if data-gathering isn’t worthwhile when it comes to the company’s bottom line, which then stunts investment in an area that more and more competitors will be adopting. 

But it absolutely is worthwhile – there is an abundance of data if you know where to look for it and how best to use it to your advantage. The challenge – which is nothing new, yet remains a challenge nonetheless – lies in distinguishing the necessary data from the unnecessary. And this isn’t a one-time operation – what is necessary and unnecessary changes with the markets and the trends, and as such your strategies should be agile, constantly evolving and under review.

How does SG do data analytics?

SG’s range of client audits deliver actionable insights on what your customers want from you, and how to reach and serve them.

A client audit can take several forms, but in essence it provides analysis of current performance, and makes recommendations on the usage of resources. The audit’s scope depends on the client’s budget, timeline and size, but the ultimate goal of an audit is to create an action plan to improve the effectiveness of the business. 

We analyse factors that impact your marketing – be it things outside or inside your control – so you can calibrate your strategy to work with the landscape you find yourself in.

We conduct strategy audits, examining the viability of your business’ vision and goals, and whether these align with your marketing strategies.

Another service which is hugely valuable to our clients is competitive analysis. As more businesses are adopting data-informed strategies, gaining and maintaining a competitive edge is crucial.

Because we’re always on top of social media trends we can share insights that improve your reach and engagement, which can in turn provide proof of efficiency of your marketing approaches.

Have you heard of a brand and value proposition audit? Brand audit is an in-depth examination of a brand, its strengths and weaknesses and position on the market. By examining website analytics and retargeting your audience, we are able to dive deeper into the data pool, get the needed answers and insights and finally, implement and optimise the overall performance (Source: Superside).

Our meticulous analysis will allow us to recommend improvements to website design, brand positioning and to help you to boost action-oriented language that encourages more engagement and achieves higher ROI. The results of the audit can then be compared with the business’s goals and calibrated for a coherent action plan.

This is an age where every marketer needs a super-skilled and experienced talent pool to provide meaningful and actionable insights. We give our clients more time and sharper tools, so that they can reach the right consumers in the right place at the right time, leading to growth and success for their business.

With the right tools, guidance and people on your team who can harness your data in the right way, this growth and success is absolutely attainable for companies of all sizes.

Lucija Stolica